Framing The Problem

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

On new construction there are times when you can look at something and not be able to tell what the problem is!  At times you have to look at things a long time and still can't see exactly what is going on.

Things look out of whack, but sometimes, when many things ALL look out of whack, it is hard to determine what it is.  Such was the case on this now-famously-popular new construction!

 

 

This is one wing of the upper level of this house. 

You can see two types of siding materials used here - vinyl siding and wall shakes or shingles.

Look around.

What's askew?

Is it the small horizontal roof on the upper right?  (Yes...)

Is the lower roof bowed?  (Yes...)

Or are the windows not level?

 

 

So, how about a little quiz?

A.  The window is not level.

B.  The wall shingles are not level under or over the window.

C.  The arrow-shaped detail at the top is not level.

D.  B and C because the framing of the lower roof dictates how level things are above.

Hint:  That window is DEAD level.

The answer, of course, is D.

What you are looking at in both pictures things that appear as they are because the rough framing underneath is not plumb or level.

And the materials that go over that framing, therefore, are conforming to that.

Could this have been done to that things don't appear out of line?

Sure, by working off of the level thing - the window.  It would have meant fitting (called scribing) the lowest course abutting the roof to that roof so that when it met the window it was level.  That would have corrected a lot of it, but that would require

FORETHOUGHT AND PROFESSIONALISM.

 

That arrowhead thing at the top is just ridiculous.  If the window is level THAT surely is not!

One problem leads to another - the initial framing goes a long way toward what follows!  Even on a pre-drywall inspection, which we conducted, that would be very difficult to detect.  Defined lines aren't so visible when things are skeletal.  And, as you can see, something only needs to be off a little bit, like 3/4" from one side of a window to the other, for a defined line to look a little funny.

My recommendation:  It's hard to do, but look to see how things are fitting together.  Because sometimes alignment, placement, or out of plumb and level can be framing the problem!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

John - well, I have seen a bubble app for our phones!  Not sure how accurate they are...

Hard to imagine China experiencing a shortage of anything!

Nov 29, 2010 12:57 AM #11
Ambassador
2,758,520
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Me thinks that someone has been dropped too many times and now their bubble is off...

Nov 29, 2010 01:35 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,593,312
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Jay, I think you could write a book on this one house. I'd love to put all these posts together and give it to my young contractor friend who is eager to build his first home from top to bottom. May I do that?

Nov 29, 2010 02:00 AM #13
Rainer
169,728
Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale
Wende Schoof - Menlo Park, CA
WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula

Jay, where I live, there's a lot of settlement in some neighborhooods, so we see windows and roof lines that aren't exactly straight on occasion.  I always thought those houses started out with the framing level - maybe not.

Nov 29, 2010 02:17 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Michael - perhaps their phone has been dropped to many times?    ;>)

It's up to you Bob.  I guess by now they are in the public domain.

Wende - it probably does begin with the framing.  Typically the following things follow those lines.

 

Nov 29, 2010 04:05 AM #15
Ambassador
573,714
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California

OMG...  Crazy...  I found myself looking and thinking about this post for a bit.  Great one, as usual!

Nov 29, 2010 05:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Don't think too hard Chris!  If you're like me, after a while of looking at this stuff, things start to hurt...

Nov 29, 2010 05:26 AM #17
Rainmaker
179,891
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

And in the end, if the potential buyer has an inspector of Jay's quality then selling the house becomes more difficult.  Make sure it is done right the first time.

Great post Jay,  good catch.

Nov 29, 2010 05:34 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I had a lot of fun on this inspection Jack, as you have been reading the last many posts!

It could be that most people would not pick this up.  I am walking around with a critical eye and it sticks out!

Nov 29, 2010 05:43 AM #19
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

So the circus came to town and all the clowns stayed and built this house. Would that be about right?

Nov 29, 2010 08:36 AM #20
Rainer
65,787
Carol Costanzo
Montague Miller and Company - Charlottesville, VA
GRI, SFR

Jay, thank you for posting this. I am curious if the lack of attention to detail in the framing is indicative many times of the quality of construction in the rest of the house? I have said to many of my clients the lowest bidder is not necessarily the best choice. This illustrates that perfectly.

Nov 29, 2010 11:32 AM #21
Rainmaker
798,953
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Has the buyer gotten cold feet and decided to move on to another house w/out all of the issues? 

Mel

Nov 29, 2010 11:43 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jim - this house had so many issues, when taken individually pretty much happen all the time, but all taken together really add up to a lot!

Carol - this house has been the subject of my last many posts!  So yes, there is a lack of attention to detail.

Mel - not that I am aware.  In fact, I have another inspection this week with the co-worker who referred him to me.  I think he is working with his builder, but I have not heard since the inspection.

Nov 29, 2010 12:26 PM #23
Rainmaker
2,666,604
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Another super post.  Can't believe how fruitful this house has been for your blogging.  Looks like this house would make me a bit dizzy.  And, since it's unlevel, it affects everything.  Makes it harder for interior, too -  flooring and cabinets/granite.  Not good at all.

Nov 29, 2010 10:10 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It has gone on, Debbie, because it has been instructive!  And Mr. Jay is still writing the report, days later... 

OK, maybe not exactly that.   ;)

Nov 29, 2010 11:15 PM #25
Rainer
241,877
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

Yep!  This one irks me the most because as you said, it just lacks forethought and professionalism.  Sadly I see it all the time, even on "custom" $1,000,000+ homes.

What does the future hold for this house?  Are the buyers proceeding forward?

Nov 30, 2010 02:25 AM #26
Rainmaker
31,955
Sam Fischer
Coeur d'Alene, ID

What is it they say? Measure twice, cut once. Maybe they needed to calibrate their tape measures! 

Nov 30, 2010 03:22 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I don't know Justin.  I think they are willing to work with the builder.  It may take a lot of work!

Sam - how often do you see that little saying not obeyed!?

Nov 30, 2010 06:27 AM #28
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

I bet the builder just loved you.

Nov 30, 2010 07:56 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Haven't heard Reubs!  Haven't heard at all.

Nov 30, 2010 10:09 AM #30
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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